Embrace Equity this International Women’s Day
By Natalie Rodgers
A lot has changed for women in the world since the first International Women’s Day in 1911. From voting rights and gaining political leadership roles to simply igniting change for the better, March 8th has been used to celebrate the bravery, creativity, tribulations and successes of women around the world. For 2023, International Women’s Day is shining a spotlight on equity with their theme, #EmbraceEquity. While there has been tremendous progress in the rights of women, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure an equitable world for all people, regardless of gender identity. This International Women’s Day, we are taking a look at some ways that we can honor and celebrate women, as well as advocate for a more equitable world.
Support the Organizations that Support Women
There are numerous organizations, activists’ networks and charity groups that exist to support women on a global scale. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering or simply educating yourselves on global issues, consider supporting one of the following groups this International Women’s Day:
- The Association for Women’s Rights in Development: An international support organization dedicated to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women’s human rights. The organization also specializes in educational rights, policy change and developing professionals.
- UN Women: A subgroup of the United Nations, UN Women is dedicated to advocating for the rights of women and girls on an array of issues, from gender equality and women empowerment to ending violent acts against women.
- The Women’s Refugee Commission: A non-governmental organization dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of women and children in areas of conflict or crisis.
- Womankind Worldwide: A global women’s rights organization that partners with women’s movements in Africa and Asia to support them in their efforts to change discriminatory laws and policies, challenge gender norms and stereotypes, and provide transformative programs and services to women and girls.
- Partners in Health: A non-profit organization that partners with local governments to provide healthcare to some of the world’s poorest countries. While they work to support people of all races, genders and identities, they have specialty programs that are working to reduce the growing maternal mortality rates in countries such as Sierra Leone.
Educate Yourself on Women Activists from Around the World
When we think about women activists, it’s easy to limit ourselves to only recognizing the accomplishment of women in the United States, when in reality there have been women all over the world who have changed how we live our everyday life. Take the time to visit your local library, listen to podcasts or even take a deep dive on the internet to learn about the different women and issues from around the world who are igniting change for people everywhere.
If you’re not sure where to start, try the following resources:
- I am Malala: The autobiographical story of Malala Yousafzai, one of the biggest advocates for women and girls’ education in Pakistan and the world.
- Call Your Girlfriend: A podcast hosted by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman that discusses women and feminism through the eyes of pop culture, politics and interviews with women activists.
- Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise: A documentary about Maya Angelou, an author and activist that wrote poetry, essays, books and plays that speak about identity, race, gender and equality.
- Codename: Butterflies: A documentary about the Mirabel sisters of the Dominican Republic, three activists who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and his regime of violence.
- Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War: An autobiographical story about Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist who helped end the Second Liberian Civil War.
Include Everyone in the Conversation
The best way to ignite change, raise awareness and build compassion amongst others is to create meaningful conversation. March 8th may be International Women’s Day, but that doesn’t mean the conversation on important women and women’s rights should be exclusive to one gender. Get together with your family members and friends of diverse genders and backgrounds and talk about the important women in your life, how your experiences may differ and the ways in which you can support and understand one another. This not only allows your group to reflect on the positive change that has already happened, but can spark conversations that educate and inspire new ideas for the future.
Support Women-Owned Businesses
Supporting small businesses is one of the best ways that you can stimulate the economy while supporting your community. There are thousands of women-owned businesses in just about every industry you can think of, so why not utilize one of them to celebrate International Women’s Day? This March, try replacing one of your normal purchases with a purchase from a women-owned business. Whether you’re looking to grab lunch with a friend, find a new bathing suit for the summer or plan your next event, there is a woman-owned business that can fulfill just about any need you may have.
Sources: International Women’s Day, Wikipedia, Workflow MAX